· Ministry to Men, Leadership Development, Church Renewal

Improving on Shakespeare


By Gil Hanke


Improving on Shakespeare is dangerous. I can’t take credit for this idea. I can’t give credit to the story I heard on the radio, because this quote came quickly as I was driving in Nashville traffic. All I heard was this, “To be or not to be; that is the answer.”


Rarely am I concerned that we “rush” into most decisions in our ministries. The late Rev. Bill Hinson, former senior pastor at First UMC, Houston, once stated, “If you can name a problem or a sin, The United Methodist Church will study it for at least 10 years.”


Here is what we know: Wesley and his cohorts grew the Methodist movement in small “class” meetings, which asked in different ways, how each participant had experienced God in the last week. We know that today, those meetings work well face-to-face or screen-to-screen through some form of video conferencing. We also know, younger men welcome this e-format. So do men who may or may not be interested in attending your worship services. So do men who feel there should be more to life than they are currently experiencing.


Unfortunately, when asked, many local churches do not have an organized or systematic structure that “makes disciples for the transformation of the world.” This does not need more study. You and I need to “be” disciples. Although we often feel like we fall short in our walk of discipleship, there are actual steps, in proven sources, that can move us and others toward a better version of discipleship today than what we practiced last week.


“Being” is the answer.


The commission has the materials to help you and your church become welcoming place for disciples who make more disciples of Jesus Christ.


As spoken by Nike:

Just do it.


Gil Hanke, general secretary

General Commission on UM Men



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